Utrecht Early Music Festival 2016 part 14: Le Voci delle Grazie

The day’s fabulous fringe concert at Tivoli-Vredenburg was taken care of by the ensemble Le Voci Delle Grazie. This ensemble consists of 7 musicians. Their “Concerto delle Donne” gave a fair impression of all the Graces.

20160828 Venetian Portraits 008The large concert hall of the building was still closed when most of the public arrived. The ensemble was still busy and instruments had to be tuned. After a quarter of an hour or so, the doors finally opened and everybody could file in.

The concert started with a work by Barbara Strozzi. Again, her composition impressed and it is a great pity that female composers do not feature more often in concerts. This Early Music Festival day, there were two fringe concerts which focussed on female composers. One was the second performance of Ignotae Deae, while the other one was a concert consisting solely of compositions by Barbara Strozzi performed by the Ceruleo Ensemble. I was unable to attend both these concerts, so having the chance to hear Le Voci Delle Grazie start their madrigal concert with “Le Tre Grazie a Venere” was sheer good fortune.

Kit Spencer and Mariano Boglioli tuning before the fabulous fringe concert by Le Voci delle Grazie

Kit Spencer and Mariano Boglioli tuning before the fabulous fringe concert by Le Voci delle Grazie

The whole concert by Le Voci Delle Grazie was outstanding anyway and I quite like madrigals to be performed as this ensemble did. It was difficult to decide which madrigal and composer pleased most. The a capella “Ad una fresco Riva” by Luca Marenzio was superbly sung. On the other hand, two compositions by Luigi Rossi impressed to. For a start, there was an excellent “Occhi belli, occhi miei care”. But I think the last song of this concert outdid every preceding one. It was another composition by Luigi Rossi, “Fan Battaglia!” And the ladies certainly went at it! Pretty good acting and singing and the accompanying music was excellently performed as well. There should have been two encores of this song!

“Il Concerto Delle Donne, madrigals by Rossi, Marenzio, Monteverdi and others” was excellently performed by Le Voci delle Grazie:
Bethany Shepherd and Ilze Grêvele sopranos;
Laura Lopes mezzo-soprano;
Garance Boizot viola da gamba;
Kit Spencer baroque harp;
Talitha Witmer theorbe;
Mariano Boglioli harpsichord

Program:
Barbara Strozzi: Le Tre Grazie a Venere;
Claudio Monteverdi : Raggi, dové il moi bene ?
Luzzasco Luzzaschi : O dolcezze amarissime d’amore & Támo mia vita;
Lodovico Agostini : Cantan gli augei contenti, Quel canto oimé;
Luca Marenzio : Ad une fresca riva;
Luigi Rossi: occhi belli, occhi miei cari;
Domenico Mazzacchi : Dovrem piangere la passione di nostro Signore;
Luigi Rossi : Disperate speranze, peccantum me quotidiae, Fan battaglia

Le Voci delle Grazie can be found on Facebook.
Youtube Le Voci delle Grazie

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